What are your thoughts on AshleyMadison.com and their stats that rank Philadelphia in the top 10 most adulterous cities in the U.S.? —G.B., Wayne
Congratulations to the City of Brotherly Love: We have now earned the title of City of Adulterous Love. Not only is Philadelphia known for its world class museums, soft pretzels and American history, we are now, for the very first time, ranked in the top 10 least faithful cities in the United States. According to the dating site Ashley Madison, 30,000 Philadelphians signed up as new members last year, vaulting us into this rarified position.
Launched on Mistress Day, February 13th, 2002, AshleyMadison was designed to cater to people who are already in committed relationships, but are looking for a little something something on the side. The site has tapped into a wide open market of people who want more from their marriage than they are getting (either emotionally or physically), and today draws clients from 25 countries worldwide with 17 million members and counting. Ten million of those members are from the U.S.
So what makes AshleyMadison so successful?
With the divorce rate so high (statistics show that more than 50 percent of marriages will fail), it is clear that many people are unhappily married. The main reason why both men and women turn to AshleyMadison.com is a lack of intimacy in their marriage. And cheaters come in all shapes and sizes. There are the ones that are always looking for a bigger and better all around lifestyle with immediate gratification. There’s also the group that doesn’t want to divorce—maybe they have a foundation with their spouse where they get along as friends and raise their family well together, but simply have no physical connection.
Historically, men have had the bad rap when it comes to stepping outside of their marriage. But the fasting growing population on AshleyMadison right now is women. The ladies have taken over the work place: Women are now the ones wearing the suits, carrying the briefcases and traveling for work. They are the boss in the boardroom and the bedroom. This change in the work place has led to a shift in the dynamic of many marriages. As women’s newfound power in the work world has taken hold, it has trickled down into the sexual realm as well.
The question that everyone wants to know is how can you catch your cheating spouse on Ashley Madison. The answer? You really can’t. A private email is given to each member, and the credit card statement for money spent on the site will not reflect the Ashley Madison name. A member can only contact another member with permission. Photos on the site are hidden unless one chooses to reveal them.
Interesting note: According to AshleyMadison.com, the site actually allows spouses to stay in a marriage that otherwise might have crumbled, because clients are now having their sexual needs met. Instead of cheating with co-workers, one’s social circle or your kid’s friend’s parents, those who need more in their love lives are taking it discreetly online.
In the event that the discretion breaks down, and the cheating is revealed, what is a scorned spouse to do? Marriages can survive indiscretions. Nine times out of 10, there is a reason why people break their marriage vows, so before speed dialing a divorce attorney, two things need to happen. First, look in the mirror and then get into couple’s counseling. Although it’s devastating to discover that one’s mate is on a site designed to help people cheat, at least underlying marital or individual problems are brought to a head. Whether the marriage dissolves or not, the person who perceives themselves as having been wronged does have an opportunity for self-evaluation. Either you: 1) married someone who is entitled and self-absorbed—meaning you should take responsibility for your choice and not be shocked that your spouse grew into a continuation of who they always were, or 2) haven’t been interested in being intimate with your spouse, which means you can resolve the question as to why. (Newsflash, when a couple isn’t having sex and one partner still wants it, they will find it outside of their marriage.)
As far as Philly goes, Ashley Madison’s founder, Noel Biderman, was not surprised to see Philly take over the number eight spot previously held by Chicago. He thinks the trying year the city has had with its sport franchises has contributed to the rise in membership. I’m not sure the Eagles are the problem, but I do know this: Cheating is much easier now with the Internet, but adultery has been going on since the beginning of time. In the end, there are three sides to every story so don’t blame sites like Ashley Madison or Facebook for all your personal problems.
As for the coveted spot of most adulterous city in the nation … that goes to Washington, D.C. There’s a shock.